Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: Turtles All The Way Down (And Thoughts On John Green)

WoooOOoooo. It’s a new John Green book! I mean finally, right? Well, I’ve never been one to fan over his books. But at the same time I don’t mind John Green much. And I’m not biased to rate his books highly, so hopefully you’ll get some insight from this review.

Also, I guess I was anticipating more thoughts on John Green? But I guess I don’t have any? Whoops. I mean I know my best friend absolutely loves him, but I never really interested in any of his books? The first one I read was Looking for Alaska, which I only rated 3 stars. And maybe it was just me because I wasn’t too into contemporary back then? But I for sure can say that it did not motivate me to continue reading his books. Then on the other hand, I absolutely LOVED The Fault in the Stars. I kind of sobbed through the whole thing? AND THEN THE MOVIE TOO. I remember bringing a pack of tissues into the movie theater because I knew I was just going to bawl.

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Seeing how much of a hit TFIOS was, I’m not at all surprised that I only liked Turtles All the Way Down. It’s true that I did enjoy it, but it just didn’t have the “umph” that it had in his last book (which yeah, I’m not surprised by at all).

On the other hand, we get to experience Aza’s mental illness firsthand, and it relates directly to the cover of the book. Her struggle with mental illness is like a never-ending, tightening spiral downwards. And even though there are times were everything is okay, sometimes it’s just not. I honestly was not expecting such a vivid experience of her mental illness, something I could very easily connect to. It’s really what made this book stand out from all the others I have read.

The plot of the story is a bit bizarre, and also takes place in the background. It starts off with Aza and Daisy wanting to claim some reward for finding a wanted man (I don’t remember exactly, I think maybe he partook in some shady dealings). Anyways, this man happens to be Davis’ father. Davis used to be friends with Aza, but they drifted apart over time. Daisy wants to use this connection to investigate, but Davis is not really onboard. He knows that everyone trying to get close to him only wants the money. Which is why right from the beginning, he hands the two of them $100k.

But Aza is like nooo, I really like you for who you are! And so, the rest of the novel focuses on the development between the two.

Overall, I really liked the book, especially how it portrayed Aza’s anxiety (although I’m not sure, it might be OCD? It wasn’t exactly labeled in the book, but I know it’s mentioned in interviews with John Green somewhere, I just don’t remember right now). But this was definitely more of a character-driven novel rather than a plot-driven one. Also, I’m not really sure how I feel about the conclusion? I almost felt like it just…ended. I guess that does reflect real life, I suppose.

In the end, I’m glad I read it and enjoyed it. It did provide a very unique perspective on mental illness.